- Big infrastructure spend leads regional cash splurge
- Roads pave the way for government’s fortune in the regions
- Farm sector bags $12m tax cuts
REGIONAL towns in NSW have cleaned up in the NSW Budget handed down today.
A record $1.3 billion of funding has been allocated to regional areas, with schools and hospitals sweeping the lion’s share of cash.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet this morning announced funding for 27 new schools; 1500 new classrooms and 1000 extra teachers. Country kids across 900 schools will benefit from $46m which will be spent over the next four years to boost wireless access. Detail on other telecommunications funding is scant.
The state’s bushfire fighting capabilities were given $38m with an extra $40m for much-needed fire mitigation activities in national parks.
The Central West and Orana region won some major funds this budget. About $43.5m has been committed to Dubbo Hospital and Mudgee hospital $8m. Dubbo’s iconic zoo received $7.5m. The treasurer also backed a new specialist school in Dubbo and pledged to upgrade Coolah Central School.
The North Coast bagged some huge healthcare wins this budget. A whopping $23m will be spent on a new hospital in Macksville, $10m on Port Macquarie Hospital and $5m at Coffs Harbour Hospital.
Hospitals in the New England also attracted major funding. The Armidale Hospital will receive $30m while Inverell Hospital netted $5m. Budding sports stars will benefit from a $4.25m injection to Tamworth’s Northern Inland Centre of Sporting Excellence.
The major coup for the Far West region was the allocation of $500m for the Broken Hill pipeline. The treasurer announced today the Cobar to Nyngan pipeline project would receive $5 million. Lightning Ridge Airport received just under $750,000 to boost tourism.
Funding to expand a number of corrections facilities in regional NSW were announced this morning. A whopping $587m was allocated to Cessnock Correctional Centre for 1000 new prison beds while Bathurst Correctional Facility attracted $110.7m for 250 new beds. 400 new beds will be added to Kempsey’s prison at a cost of $94.5b while the $188m project to build Wellington prison will continue to be supported.
The transformation of motor registries to Service NSW centres will continue in regional towns with $20m set aside to convert 24 registries.